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Jacob’s contract with Esau to give Esau food in return for his birthright (Gen. 25:31-33) was an ethical contract. First, it is immoral, a subsidy to evil, to give unconditional gifts to an enemy of God, which is what Esau was (Gen. 25:23; Mal. 1:2-3). Second, Esau was not on the verge of dying from starvation. Esau was faint, which is not characteristic of those suffering true hunger; and after eating one morsel of meat (Heb. 12:16), he sauntered out undaunted, which is inconsistent with being on the verge of death. Esau was present-oriented, willing to sell his birthright for the instant gratification of quieting a growling stomach. It is ethical to bargain competitively with a person who is in a weak bargaining position because he wants instant gratification and lacks foresight at any price such a person is willing to pay.
- Gary North, The Dominion Covenant: Genesis 177-83 (1987), at www.freebooks.com: html or DjVu.